So I plugged in a new drive last night and the time estimate went from months to years and literally kept rising, I stopped it at about 5,000,000 days.
I unplugged my unused ecternal drives. Keeping only the Time Machine drive connected, restarted the computer and when Time MAchine began to backup it went from 12 hours to 5 hours in about 15 minutes and finished backing up about 5 hours later.
My issue was with 10.7.5 (11G63) and Time Machine simply stopping at 1.59 gb ~ It would progress no further.
Took a look at the Console and saw that a MDImporter file housed within /Library/Spotlight/ was throwing continious error messages:
Exception Type: EXC_BAD_ACCESS (SIGBUS)
Exception Codes: KERN_PROTECTION_FAILURE at 0x00000000b0186ff8
I nuked the file and TM chuggs along as usual now.
Hey Matt ~
Here is what I did:
1. Quit all programs, turn off wi-fi, blue-tooth, etc. Let the computer be idle as much as possible.
2. Fire-up Console: Applications --> Utilities --> Console
3. With the computer idle, you should see very little activity in Console's "All Messages" main window. If you are seeing repeating lines with nifty words like "Bad", "Failure", etc. there is file out of sorts that may be causing your problem. In my case, the file (which I found through a Spotlight search) was for some Finale music software that I don't use very often.